Harvard Pilgrim Health Network Revises Data Breach Total to Nearly 2.9 Million


Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Updates Ransomware Attack Impact, Affected Individuals Rise to Nearly 2.9 Million

Harvard Pilgrim Health Care has revealed that the scope of individuals impacted by a ransomware attack last spring is larger than initially disclosed.

The New England health insurance provider fell victim to a ransomware assault by an unidentified group on April 17, 2023, leading to service disruptions for several days. Since the incident, the company has submitted multiple breach notification letters to regulators in Maine. The most recent notification revises the total affected individuals to 2,860,795, marking a 12 per cent increase from the original count.

This development underscores the trend of data breach impact expanding as investigations unfold. For instance, the 2021 cyberattack on T-Mobile initially estimated to affect around 50 million individuals in the U.S. was later revised to 76.6 million.

A similar scenario unfolded last year when hackers targeted a widely-used file transfer tool employed by numerous governments and companies. The government of Nova Scotia had to widen its warnings upon realizing a greater number of affected individuals than previously recognized.

The attackers infiltrated Harvard Pilgrim's systems from March 28, 2023, to April 17, 2023. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care collaborated with federal law enforcement agencies and cybersecurity firms to mitigate the incident.

The compromised files may contain personal data and protected health information of current and former subscribers, dependents, and contracted providers. The nonprofit organization caters to over 1.1 million members primarily located in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Connecticut.

Harvard Pilgrim's parent company, Point32Health, was established in 2021 following the merger of Harvard Pilgrim and Tufts Health Plan, collectively serving more than 2.2 million individuals. The organization ranks as the second-largest insurer in Massachusetts. Notably, Charlie Baker, the former governor of Massachusetts, served as the chief executive of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care for a decade.